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Mr Humblebum.

Aww gosh guys, thanks a bunch.

I’ve got a split screen thing going here and I figure that if I read through the comments and address them, I should be able to get a whole post out of it (on the house).

Robin,  technically your use of large and infinite is not redundant given that something can be referred to as being infinitely small as well (that’s not redundant that’s just plain weird, if it was infinitely small it wouldn’t exist). Now see, this just proves my point! How can people ignore such riveting, informative writing. Got me beat.

I’m not going to say who I read because in the end it’s totally subjective and the truth is I have no right to criticize anyone for their success, so if I keep it anonymous it should be OK. Having said that, I will say that Dooce, despite once being both humorous and cutting edge, seems to have fallen into this kind of Stepford Mom genre, but still attracts a huge audience in spite of this (or maybe because of it).

To my mind, Jenny you are one of the few in the category of "writes well, has lots of readers". You always make me laugh, and it surprises me that you say you have to leave comments, I don’t think this is the case. But don’t stop leaving them here, it adds class.

Heather, you ask when was the last time I visited your site? That would be yesterday, as I haven’t done any reading yet today. You are a good example of the "writes very well, deserves more readers" category. Although since you’ve been going to all those Christian writer conferences, your readership has significantly increased. I don’t comment because as I’ve said before, there’s a time and a place for humour, and it’s not necessarily in the comments section of a brilliant piece of prose, plus do I seem like the kind of guy that would ever read the books you review!

Swampy, nice try! Quality is more important than quantity is a line I’ve been using for years (except I’m usually talking about my pecker when I say it). And I don’t really believe it then either. Of course I want good quality, witty comments, but I want lots of them! Just because you guys get me, and can express it, doesn’t make me famous, it just makes me fortunate.  Oh yeah Swampy, 
"And for us who are repeat commentors on the same post…your words cause me to ponder and then come back to add more."…..Not helping, that just means I was too obtuse!

Stephanie, nice try and thanks, but I direct you to the previous paragraph. But don’t let that deter you, comment away!!

Ha! Pamela, do you seriously think that soft porn is any match for an antique oil painting of a poodle? You’re just not paying attention. You should have quit while you were ahead…"Nice post" said it all.

I agonised over whether to include this or not as I wasn’t sure if it was: (a) – a brilliantly subversive piece of work to illustrate a point, (b) – a couple of typos, or (c) – an example of what happens when you don’t  proofread. Given that I read Kila all the time, and I know that she does in fact have a good command of both grammar and vocabulary, I’ll vote for (a)…but you decide: "I, too, noticed that the poor crude the language is, the larger the adoring audience. Like flies to poop."  Oh, never mind, I just came to the comment where it was explained to me, but while we’re at it, it should read "I too," instead of "I,too,". Picky, picky.

Tiffany, I think my sitemeter is broken (I keep telling myself that to make me feel better).

Hey thanks guys, I did get a whole post out of it. Plus I seem to have fixed my computer problems too. Anyway, I feel love, and its a good feeling. Maybe I’ll keep writing, after all I haven told you about the mining accident yet have I?

Updated** Mea Culpa… I’m sorry Claudia, I left you out. Just proves I really am a thoughtless prick. Thank you for your long and constant support, I always look forward to your comments.

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Mr Grumblebum

What better way to celebrate my successful yet unofficial participation in NaBloMePal than with a good old fashioned whinge. Maybe if I did something like Karmyn, I’d have more of a sense of accomplishment and wouldn’t feel so down. Nah!

I’m mainly feeling bummed because my computer has embarked upon a mission to separate me from whatever shred of sanity I have left, by generally being a complete prick (thank you Mr Gates for your high quality, thoroughly tested updates). But I’m also feeling bummed because despite my gentle disposition, despite my words of wisdom, support and encouragement, despite my spiritual nature, despite literary prowess that would put Henry Thoreau to shame (are you kidding! I’ve read Walden Pond, fucking graffiti would put that hack to shame), and despite having the cutest pooches in the universe (at least that part’s true) the only way I can get my comments into double figures is if I respond individually to everyone with separate comments, and then add another four or five of my own for good measure.

Not that I’m complaining…of course I’m fucking complaining, and here’s why:

Yesterday I thought I would expand my horizons with a spot of blog hopping, so I clicked the links in some blog rolls (these were all blogs I have never read before). Ok, you got me, I was thinking that maybe if I visited some new blogs and left messages, people would read my blog, be gobsmacked at it’s brilliance and become devoted readers for life. But my plan hit a snag (no, not a sensitive new aged guy, it seems that in the blogosphere they’re all blogging chicks or holy rollers, or in some cases, both ). Cheese and Rice there’s some poor excuses for prose out there! But that’s not the worst of it, it soon became apparent that the worse the blogger, the bigger the readership! There are some exceptions and I’m proud to say that they are all within my circle of bloggers.

So my plan for leaving comments all around the place and attracting new readers came unstuck when  for the most part my comments would have been "do you really thing anyone gives a shit" or "just turn the TV back on you fucking moron", or, and some may possibly have found this slightly offensive, "borrow one of your kid’s first grade books and learn the difference between grammar and your grandma, you fuckwit".

I read posts that were poorly written, had the most mundane subject matter and just trailed of into the sunset without actually coming to a point. So I’d be thinking "Hmmm, second grade English level and a myopic view of the world, no wonder they have no readers. What? Forty-fucking-four comments! They must be giving her shit!" Not so, (apart from the author not so much as making even one paltry effort to respond and giving me a chance to say Ha!it’s really only forty three), the comments were all along the lines of "Great post", "your best post yet" or "wow, you really captured the moment". Where’s the justice in that!! And what post were they reading?

But here’s what really pissed me off,  I also came across some extremely well written, humorous and/or insightful posts. And yes you guessed it…these bloggers usually got between 2 and 4 comments. No wonder people give up.

Now I don’t want you guys to think that I don’t appreciate your support, I most definitely do…without it I think (I know) I’d quit blogging. Mind you, I must admit I always get more comments on a post that just has a picture of a pet, than one I’ve spent hours drafting.

Just once like to experience the thrill of a squillion comments for a post with only words.

Well, there you have it. Congratulations to me on a month of posting (the astute among you would probably know that it’s actually closer to six months continuous posting, but who’s counting).

Please standby.

Poor old Willowtree is experiencing some severe technical difficulties and may not be posting regularly for the next few days (or however long it takes to sort things out). I blamed my ISP, but is seems to be a problem specific to my PC.

While I have no definitive answer as yet, it’s looking likely that recent MS updates have caused the problem. I’m only able to get a data transfer every now and then, the rest of the time I can log on but not transfer data either way.

If it continues, I know exactly what the problem will be….a computer lying in pieces in the corner.

Update** Looks like it may be a conflict with the antivirus software and the firewall, both of which I updated recently. I’ve restored the bastard half a dozen times so far today. For the sake of my unofficial involvement in Post a Day for November, please consider this my post. I’m so pissed I might go ballistic if I write something.

We can’t all be geniuses

Now it’s my turn to steal an idea from Ree. She did a post today about some of her experiences with special people, and I got to thinking "hey I’ve got some too". Plus it gives me a chance to prolong the suspense of the ‘great mining disaster’, don’t worry folks it’s coming. But in the meantime here’s a story concerning some very nice people.

My friend Claude, who owned the Australian Restaurant in San Jose, was a cranky old prick but he had a heart of gold. One of the ways he demonstrated this was by holding monthly picnics for the staff of a  sheltered workshop in SJ. Another was to only employed retarded kitchen hands and busboys. But that’s a story for another day, this story is about the picnics.

I used to work at his restaurant too, but I did it it out of friendship – not for pay. Although I did always eat there for nothing.

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This is the outside of the restaurant, from now on I’ll just call it Claude’s. He had it for many years and it was on W.Lincoln Ave.

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This is the interior, neither of these pictures have anything to do with the story, but there’s nowhere else for them to be, so here they are.

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This is Claude loading my truck with food for the picnic (actually it was ET’s truck, but at this particular time I was driving it). This wasn’t one of our usual picnics, I can’t exactly remember what it was for, but it was bigger than normal.

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The guy in the purple shirt was the manager of the workshop, he was a really good guy. Oh, an interesting story, he once shot and killed an intruder in his house. He had friends on the Police force who told him that if you ever have an intruder and you shoot at him, shoot to kill, otherwise they will sue you for everything you have. So he did.

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And this is what it was all about. A day out and some food that they don’t usually get to eat.

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A funny thing that I learned early in the piece, its easy to relate to those with Downs syndrome or some other physical indicators, as they are generally very friendly, but those who look just like anyone you would meet in the street can sometimes be a bit harder to get to know because their problems can manifest in so many different ways and can be psychological rather than genetic.

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Here’s a good example, you wouldn’t know anything was amiss (ok, the outfit kinda gives him away, but put him in a good suit and he’d give Omar Sharif a run for his money), but he was mad as a March Hare. But he was a lot of fun too.

Smile….Grrr

Grrrr! the title was originally just Smile, but as I tried to post it, my connection crashed. I thought the title appropriate because that’s all I’ve been able to do today (grin and bear it, as they say) because my ISP has been doing it’s best to prevent me from achieving my unofficial post a day mission. I have not been able to connect all day.

But here it is 10:15pm and I’m finally on, albeit on a shaky connection (the last post disappeared), anyway, without further ado, let me present Buddy doing his impression of Jack Nicholson playing the Joker in Batman….

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Letters ponder some facts.

I got this from Pamela over at The Dust Will Wait and thought it might be fun. While I was doing it, I realised that there were about four cunningly hidden questions that would be of real interest to identity thieves, and a whole bunch more that would be of use to telemarketers.

I’m not saying it was intentional, but then I don’t know where it originated so who can say. Anyway, I completed it with my usual honesty.

A – Available/Single? No. But I’m sure we can come to some arrangement……

B – Best Friend? ET in Cooperstown NY. Been friends forever, the distance is a pain but we manage.

C – Cake or Pie? Pie, my favourite place in the world is The House of Pies in Los Feliz. First choice Banana Cream, then Chocolate Cream, then Pumpkin. Now here’s the bad news, Australia doesn’t do pies.

D – Drink Of Choice? Diet Coke, failing that Glenfiddich single malt whiskey.

E – Essential Item You Use Everyday? Electricity, water, air, television.

F – Favorite Color? I’m no racist, and even if I were do you think I’d tell the whole world!!

G – Gummy Bears Or Worms? Gummy Bears.

H – Hometown? Sydney, but I haven’t lived there since 1970.


I – Indulgence?
Chocolate, whiskey, potato chips, ice cream, sleeping in, solitude, ah hell – all of them.

J – January Or February? June or July. (that just popped int my head, I could hear the tune but couldn’t remember the name – it’s Shine on Harvest Moon. I had to look it up, but the funny thing is, I also discovered that there’s a book by that title set in St John’s Newfoundland, and yes you guessed it…I’ve been there)

K – Kids; Their Names? No.

L – Life Is Incomplete Without? Oxygen.

M – Marriage Date?  Do you want to get married you do you want a date? Make up you mind will ya!

N – Number Of Siblings? Two dickhead brothers

O – Oranges Or Apples? Who cares, they’re both fruit aren’t they. They belong in the garbage with vegetables (except potatoes of course).

P – Phobias/Fears? That I’ll give too much personal information away doing these stupid memes.

Q – Favorite Quote? "I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" Tom Waits.

R – Reason To Smile? To keep people guessing.

S – Season? Only if it’s bland, then maybe some pepper.

T – Tag Three People? No thanks, but you’re welcome to do it if you like.

U – Unknown Fact About Me? Yes, plenty.

V – Vegetable you don’t like? All of the bastards.

W – Worst Habit? Wasting my time doing stupid memes. Oh, and farting in public.

X – X-rays You’ve Had? Chest, for Tuberculosis (needed it for my green card, which is blue by the way). Leg, when I broke it in a car accident.


Y –
Your Favorite Food? Sushi, Indian and Thai. But not all together.

Z – Zodiac Sign? Leo / Virgo cuspan.

Picture this.

Pamela had some questions regarding my new high-falootin’ photo albums (thank you Pamela, I almost didn’t post today because I was too lazy to come up with something).

But before I answer, I just want to make sure everyone understands that if you hover the cursor over something and it changes to a hand, it means you can click on the object. It’s normally either a hyper text link (the HT in HTTP) or it will give an enlarged view of the image (I don’t mean just here, I mean anywhere, it’s a CUA96 convention for GUIs).

On to the questions.

One in Asia with what looks like a woman lying on the ground..doing
something and the picture may have been taken out of a window of what a
plane? or a bus?

I think this is the one you’re talking about, although she doesn’t look like she’s lying on the ground, and that would be a really low-flying plane!

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But if this is the one, here’s the explanation: the picture is taken from the deck of the hut in the picture below (right where MDW is sitting), and she was cutting that green stuff. Why? because it was some kind of herb that went into that night’s dinner. If you click on it you can see she has a knife in her left hand and a plastic bag in her right.

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and then the cake? valentine?

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Pamela, that’s not a cake, it’s a giant chocolate chip cookie and yes it was for Valentine’s day.

and then sjnapa-13 in America .  What is that?

That photo is too boring to include in this post (I don’t know why I even put it in the album), go back and click on it, it needs no explanation.